I don’t consider myself a quilter, I’m not nearly passionate enough about it for that, but I have been known to knock out the odd quilt when a special occasion demands one. Major birthdays, weddings and so on. So a quilt was definitely required to mark the arrival of an addition to the family.
I picked up a couple of books from the library with fairly modern designs, and settled on a ’tilted star’ block from a book called Vintage Quilt Revival by Katie Blakesley, published by Interweave.
I knew the nursery colour scheme was to be grey with touches of yellow and aqua, so I raided all the local fabric shops for those colours in prints vaguely suitable for a baby, along with a backing, border and white for the ground around the stars. I was quite pleased to find the white, since it has little baby feet printed on it, they are also white so don’t show up unless you look really closely, but I felt it was a nice touch.
The book suggests making this blog using a paper template and foundation piecing, but I looked at the design and decided that I could do it by cutting shapes and stitching them together, and it would be simpler. I’m guessing that the suggestion to use foundation piecing came about because lots of the joins are on the bias, and using paper adds stability and helps to stop stretching. However, by being careful and using the walking foot on my machine I managed to do a reasonable job. Some of the points of the stars don’t quite line up with edges of the squares, but the inaccuracies are within my tolerance range.
One thing I did, which would have been less likely if I’d done foundation piecing, was to cut quite a few of the triangles the wrong way round. Some of them are symmetrical, and it didn’t matter which way round they were, but the longer ones are asymmetrical, and I have quite a few left over which I couldn’t use because I had cut them wrong. Also, because I bought more fabric than I needed, I have added to my stash of quilting fabric yet again!
I also changed the design a little, deciding to add sashing in between each of the blocks to make the stars more distinct, as otherwise I felt they all ran into each other rather.
Since piecing the front of the quilt was quite complicated, I decided to make the quilting itself simpler (just to make things easier for myself really). I chose a cotton batting, which needed quilting only every 6 inches or so, so my quilting design is just freehand wavy lines drawn along the length of the quilt, about 3 or 4 inches apart. That part of the project went very quickly, and I think it looks good.
I wanted a wide binding for this quilt, I think that frames the quilt nicely, but in the past when I’ve tried I’ve got into real trouble with mitering the corners. This time I found a tutorial on Youtube which explains it well, the secret is that you need extra fabric to allow for the width of the binding. Sadly I can’t now find the tutorial, but I did take one photo to remind myself of the technique.
Finally, I added a label to the back of the quilt, with the baby’s name, date of birth, and other details. I think it’s really important to add this information to quilts since it’s an important historical record for so many antique quilts, although I must admit that in these days of digital photos, social media and other information sharing and recording methods, it might be a bit of an anomaly. It makes me happy anyway, how about you?